Thursday, April 28, 2022

In the Absence of God Is Evil

 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”  Isaiah 45:7

I am not intelligent enough to debate theology…well, to debate anything really. And even with the things I do know, the ability to speak with confidence and proper assertion and well laid out thoughts…that type of thing alludes me the moment I’m faced with an opponent, no matter how nice and sweet and kind that person of opposition might be. Expressing myself verbally just isn’t my forte.

In recent conversations, I joked about this lack of intellect and knowledge in the context of debate, stating that the discourse would be nothing other than me trying to debate physical science with Einstein. 

But then I realized that every human, no matter the vastness of his intellect or knowledge are limited by just that, their knowledge. They can’t know what they haven’t read or studied or experienced. And therefore, they cannot compete or debate with God, Who knows all things. And, since God is my God, when I rely on Him for knowledge and understanding and wisdom, I’m better than those super geniuses.

After all, didn’t David say the same thing in Psalm 119:99:

“I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.”

So what does this have to do with evil?

Well, it’s a subject I’ve been pondering because of my limited life…or rather because I want to live today, I mean really live. Not just exist with the hope of things being better than tomorrow…which seems to be the purpose of enduring the wretched side effects of chemotherapy. 

How do I know that within six months, a year, three years, or five years I won’t die of something other than cancer? How do I know that tomorrow I won’t be struck by a car and killed? 

I don’t.

So, I ponder Matthew 6:34:

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

When I am in excruciating pain such that no pain killer can even knock the edge off it, I’m thinking this moment is pretty dog gone evil. When nausea and weakness is so great that I can’t even sit in the bathroom but lie in my bed until I have relief from vomiting, I’m thinking the day is pretty evil.

Maybe to some, I should endure, because I might extend my life another fifteen, twenty years. And I get that. My mom was given another fifteen years…BY THE LORD!!!!!!!!!

And if, should I choose to endure another round of chemo, will those days of illness be wasted in bed vomiting? Especially when I do have a choice? Okay, some may argue whether I have a choice, but really, all I need to do is cancel the appointment and walk away.

But even in my darkest hour, the Lord my God, King of Kings, my Savior, my Heavenly Father—He was present. Hard to find when I was moaning and thinking how evil life can be, but still…He was there.

I can’t imagine how much more “evil the day” would have been had I not had Him. Had I not had the hope of eternity with Him. Had I not believed He was ultimately in control and that there is nothing…even cancer…that isn’t ultimately for my good because He loves me and knows not only what is best for me, but what I need to experience in order to know Him better--to draw closer to Him, to experience His wonderful, gracious touch, to see His glory.

There can be a million reasons why He has chosen this particular suffering for me. Some of it, I’m sure, has nothing to do with me and everything to do with those who see me, hear me, face me. And all of it to do with bringing Him glory.

Which again, in my small way of thinking, comes back to my choice…at least looking through my eyes--from my small and feeble perspective. Choice to realize that the absence of God is evil, because if I didn’t have faith, if I didn’t know He was with me, all of this I’m going through would be absolute hell.

And the Chase Is On

  Years ago, I set my iPad on the treadmill, started up a movie   and pressed 2 for a warmup. I had just begun to punch the button to speed ...